Cochlear Response to COVID-19
19 March, 2020
Dear hearing health professionals, cochlear implant recipients, colleagues and partners,
The novel coronavirus disease (COVID-19) pandemic is an unprecedented global health crisis. The situation is changing rapidly with respect to the virus and the global actions being taken to manage the pandemic. The team at Cochlear shares its heartfelt empathy with the communities impacted worldwide by COVID-19. As the world responds to this pandemic, we remain committed to supporting our customers, employees and communities to ensure that the vital work of delivering implantable hearing solutions to patients continues.
While there is uncertainty, we would like to assure you that we are working to proactively manage this situation, in solidarity with governments, health organisations and other global businesses. We have activated and are regularly reviewing our business continuity plan and COVID-19 response plan to ensure continued support during this rapidly evolving situation. We will also continue to monitor the situation and are prepared to introduce further measures as appropriate.
The priorities that guide our actions include:
Promoting health for everyone – our customers, employees and communities
Maintaining our supply chain, so that we keep our customers on-air and can continue to supply implants for surgeries
Please see further details on Cochlear’s response to COVID-19 below.
Promoting health for everyone
We are actively following the advice of health authorities and governments, and have taken steps to care for recipients and professional partners and ensure the health and wellbeing of all our employees.
To prevent the spread of the virus, like many institutions, many of our teams worldwide are working remotely and restricting travel to support necessary patient care activities only. Where necessary we have introduced remote options for virtual, digital or telephone customer support. Our staff and infrastructure have been prepared to ensure we continue to operate to support our customers.
Our remote work protocols reinforce World Health Organization (WHO) guidelines to help prevent the spread of respiratory disease and support the practice of social distancing. We are advising employees who show symptoms of COVID-19 to follow guidelines from their local authorities for testing and treatment. We are also following strict quarantine rules in alignment with the most up-to-date government guidance for colleagues who may have been exposed to someone diagnosed with COVID-19.
We have taken extensive measures to protect our workforce who are unable to work remotely, such as manufacturing and logistics staff. These have included ensuring availability of protective equipment, restricting large group gatherings, practicing social distancing, restricting visitor access to manufacturing areas and office sites, and instituting additional hygiene and cleaning protocols in our offices, labs and warehouses during this period.
Continued support for recipients
We recognise that many of our recipients will be taking steps to limit exposure to COVID-19.
Cochlear continues to operate and our customer service team is available via phone, email, fax, online and other channels. We are also adding additional online services, where needed, to help support you from the convenience of your home. You can visit www.cochlear.com/customer-service to contact us for local information.
Continued support for healthcare professionals
Understandably, to ensure a safe environment for patients and manage the capacity of healthcare systems, many hospitals have limited visitor access or changed operations.
We would like to reassure customers that we are and will continue to proactively manage production and supply of our products to minimise disruption. We are working with governments around the world to enable our manufacturing facilities and warehouses to remain open to help us continue to support our recipients, if business closures are mandated.
Moving Forward Together
We understand that this is a challenging time for everyone. Further changes may be implemented at short notice in response to the changing environment. Please be safe and contact us if you would like to know more about Cochlear’s support options for recipients or customers. Should you have specific questions, please reach out to your local Cochlear representative as usual.
We will continue to monitor the situation and take a considered approach to ensure the health and wellbeing of our customers, employees and community.
CEO & President, Cochlear
About Cochlear Limited (ASX: COH)
Cochlear is the global leader in implantable hearing solutions. The company has a global workforce of more than 4,000 people and invests more than AUD$180 million each year in research and development. Products include cochlear implants, bone conduction implants and acoustic implants, which healthcare professionals use to treat a range of moderate to profound types of hearing loss. Since 1981, Cochlear has provided more than 600,000 implantable devices, helping people of all ages, in more than 180 countries, to hear.